Drunk driving – drives up insurance premiums more than accidents do

Auto insurance is mandatory in Idaho. Upon registration of your vehicle you are required sign a statement that it is insured. You are also required to carry proof of insurance whenever you’re driving. Idaho is one of the cheapest states in terms of auto insurance. As of December 2013, it costs an average of $969 to insure your vehicle in Idaho. However, if you live Boise you can expect to pay, on average, as little as $812.

It is common knowledge that accidents increase your insurance premiums when it comes time to renew your policy. For instance, if you live in Boise, your premium will go up from $812 to $1000 after your first accident, as of December 2013. A second accident will drive up your premium payment to $1492. If you thought that was a steep rise in insurance costs, consider the cost of drunk driving.

In Idaho, drunk driving will cost you more in terms of premium payments than accidents. Let’s take the example of Boise again. If you get caught driving drunk in Boise, your premium will shoot up to $1510. That’s $18 more than your premium would be if you had two accidents. Not only that, the premium will remain at a higher rate for three years after being convicted for DWI. It will take up to seven years before rates revert to original levels.

There are ways to bring down your premium if you get caught for drunk driving. Taking a defensive driving course can reduce the premium by 15%. In the case of Boise, that would mean a premium of, on an average, $1284 as of December 2013 after completing a defensive driving course. In reality, drunk driving costs more than just a rise in premiums. Drunk driving carries hefty fines and jail time in Idaho. The first offense carries a fine of up to $1000 whereas a third offense means a fine of up to $5000, jail time from 30 days to five years and suspension of your license from one to five years.